A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Monday, 25 June 2012

Last week in June

Visited the plot today the first dry one for a while, after not being able to get down for a week wanted to see if there had been any progress.
The bad news was evident, the slugs and snails have decimated my peas, out of four rows I have probably salvaged one, the lower leaves of my runner beans had been attacked as well but the beans are OK. I for sure will be using Nemaslug next year to break the cycle.
In my four years on the plot I have never known such a bad start to the growing season, the weeds are rampant everywhere.
My first early potatoes are doing well and after ten weeks I have started digging them a bit early I know but Monty Don recommends picking them and eating as you go rather than digging a lot up in one go and storing.
Broad beans are flowering well and I have pinched the tips out as the black fly are in them.
Strawberries are my biggest disappointment  not a lot of fruit and none ripening yet
Carrots have still been slow to germinate, beets I have started picking

International Kidney potato flower

Charlotte potato flower

Beet root I picked these early, planted  as a bunch

Orang poppy just popped up between my fruit trees

My pick of today`s crop potatoes are Charlotte

Moroccan mint but leaning out towards the light and sun

International Kidney potatoes

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Robin on our Red Robin Tree

This Robin has amused us for some months now in our garden, just recently he flies backwards and forwards under and through our open ended glazed cover-way on the side of our bungalow (not while we`re in it I might add)  rather than over it presumably as a short cut to quickly collect insects from both front and rear garden, he has a nest with young in one of our front garden dense evergreen borders.
He is never still for more than a few seconds at a time so getting a shot has been difficult but I managed to get a quick shot of him here with a beak-full of  insects and grubs ready to go to the nest, it was getting dark and  I had to shoot very quickly through the bedroom window so the shot is noisy due to the very low light level even with the camera set at ISO1600

sorry if this is already familiar to you but like film which used to get very grainy at high speeds such as ASA 1600 so a lot of digital camera sensors get very grainy (noisy) at high speeds. A flash would have been no use because of the reflection from the glass. I also always use a circular polarising filter to cut out reflections when shooting through glass

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mid June first really early Potato

Lunch time visit today, amazed at the amount of weeds, broad beans well into flower now. Notice black fly on one, must  nip the tips out now, carrots doing well as are runner beans. Sowed radish Early potatoes in flower see next post

Saturday, 9 June 2012

June 9th after the Gales

I realise now just what an advantage I have over conventional allotments being surrounded by large trees and lush vegetation in a large basin. Gale force winds do not reach down that far into the site. Although I took precautions there was not one part of the plot or plants that was affected in any way by the gales a big plus and one for my Pros list. 

Telefone peas reaching up well slugs did have a few though

did get to sit at the table for a while today as the sun gave some much needed warmth to the plot

My four tubs of carrots have germinated at last and just showing through
Plot no 1, this shed was made using entirely re-cycled parts rescued bits from skips, old pallets, old wooden windows, commercial fridge door, old decking, mostly scrounged from the local refuse site, he did have to buy some of the corrugated plastic for the roof. We have a good history on our site of nine plots, of not paying for anything unless every other avenue has been exhausted. 

Inside tool store made entirely from old pallets

Fuji FinePix F31fd 
If your in the market for another camera consider one of these, a classic already, only available used on Amazon and  other auction sites but fantastic value and probably all you will need to photograph most of your blog. 95% of pictures on mine are taken with it, I don`t bother to lug the heavy gear about any more except for macro work. Its low light photographic capabilities are exceptional and after 300 shots the lithium battery is still full, macro to about 65mm

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wellcome site from the top end. The tree canopy complete

June 7th after a week of rain the only significant movement seems to be the weeds, removed the large ones by hand but too wet to hoe properly. Picture is site from narrow high end, tree canopy severely limits the amount of sunshine it is south facing though.
 I wonder if there might once of been what looks like a Badger Sett in the undergrowth near to my car.

Charlotte first early, usually does well for me. Not much chance yet to enjoy my chair and log table this season
This belongs to a fellow plot holder we are expecting gale force winds here tonight so fingers crossed it`s not in a pile tomorrow
Wisley Magic runner beans doing well (so are the weeds) have planted a trial of three White Lady runner beans to check the theory on our site at least that the white  flowers will set better than the red we`ll see
Broad beans in flower, must move the Strawberries next season this is their fourth year in the same spot and they are not that brilliant

Recycling a clothes drier as a plant support on a allotment I love it, if you put it in your garden you might get a visit from the planning inspector

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Ornamental grass

 flowering ornamental grass the tiny bell shaped flowers are only just visible to the naked eye being about 1mm long. The length of the stem in picture is approx. 100mm

Bumble Bee on Erigeron

Erigeron Raucus or Fleabane an old popular cottage garden plant. We think we have the start of a bumble bee nest in the base of our small shed by the wild garden, we`ve cleared out the tools and chairs shut the door, and left them to do what they do best. If they become a problem (and I don`t think they will) we will have a re-think

Can be quite invasive if left unchecked this one plant in my rock garden is 600mm in diameter

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee family visit

Saturday a chilly overcast windy day in Eastbourne family down so no plot work today but headed for the beach chalet for some sea air. Tide was nearly out and not many people around. The brick built beach chalets are bottom left of picture (you can see the rooves) the blue huts are fibreglass and are very basic no gas or water, behind them are the public toilets and the brick chalet holders toilet and shower room. The flat concrete area is where the Dotto train turns round ready for it`s return journey to Sovereign harbour. Further along five beaches up there is a large pile of rocks they are protection for the chalk cliff face under which houses an underground aquifer supplying some of Eastbourne`s water supply, this is also the source of a natural spring called `Holy Well` the name given to the area of which I will report on in another blog. The water is supposed to have health giving properties it is certainly pure, having filtered through chalk, we pop along in the hot weather and collect bottles of the crystal clear ice cold water to drink as it emerges from the rock